5 Food Policy Lessons the U.S. Could Learn from Latin America

María Eugenia Vidal, current Deputy Mayor of Buenos Aires and  City Cabinet Chief Horacio Rodríguez Larreta show off a A fruit vending machine. Photo courtesy of the City of Buenos Aires.

When it comes to nutrition and public health, the U.S. can learn a lot from Latin America. Over the past year, Mexico, Brazil, and several other countries in South and Central America have passed some very progressive policies, often placing public health interests above those of the food industry. This is particularly impressive given the expensive politicking the food industry has engaged in in Latin America against public health policies. Here are five recent efforts we should all be watching: Read More

SF Restaurant Yank Sing Workers Earn Historic $4 Million Settlement

T photography / Shutterstock.com

While the nation’s underpaid fast food workers have been making themselves and their demands very visible in recent years, a group of cooks and food servers in one of San Francisco’s most prominent Chinese restaurants have also been quietly charting a course to a better work environment.

Today, a group of employees at Yank Sing joins the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) and several Bay Area legal groups to announce a historic $4 million dollar settlement and workplace agreement with the restaurant’s owners. Yes, you read that right: $4 million. According to the State Labor Commissioner’s office, this is the largest monetary wage settlement they have helped secure from a restaurant of this size.

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If Grown Right, Wheat Might Help Fight Climate Change

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Conventional farming usually gets a bad climate rap. That’s because, in one way or another, food production accounts for up to a third of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Some seep directly from agricultural soils, but others stem from transportation, farm machinery, and the substantial carbon footprints of synthetic fertilizers and other inputs. These indirect emissions add to the environmental impacts of staple crops like corn and wheat, oft-vilified grains that feed much of the world’s population.

But a new paper, published today in the journal Nature Communications, offers a slice of good news. The study found that a combination of a few basic farming practices boosted wheat production and put heaps of carbon back into the soil–more than enough to compensate for the GHGs emitted in the process of growing it. Read More

Toss Those Take-Out Menus: New Study Says Cooking Makes us Healthier

Phoot by Yasu Hirotao

There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence to suggest that cooking at home is better for our health. It’s also well known that eating convenience food is associated with poorer nutrition, obesity, and other metabolic diseases. Food experts, ranging from NYU professor Marion Nestle to author Michael Pollan and New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, have long argued that homemade meals belong at the center of a healthy diet. Read More

All The News That’s Fit to Eat: The Strawberry’s Dark Side, Fast Food Racial Profiling, and ‘Food for Tomorrow’

McDonald's Play Place in Waterbury, Connecticut. Photo: Mike Mozart via Flickr.

Just because the elections are over doesn’t mean there isn’t news to cover–food news, that is. See this week’s stories below.

1. How a National Food Policy Could Save Millions of American Lives (Washington Post)

Food movement powerhouses Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan, Ricardo Salvador, and Olivier de Schutter have proposed a simple idea: The U.S. government should adopt a comprehensive food policy that protects public health, workers’ rights, the environment, and farm animals. Read More